Anyone who’s been to Abercrombie & Fitch in the last few years has probably noticed that they don’t carry XL or XXL sizes of women’s clothing because they don’t want overweight women wearing their brand.
According to this popular teen clothing retailer, fat chicks will just never be a part of the “in” crowd.
They take a big risk with this tactic because two of Abercrombie’s biggest competitors, H&M and American Eagle, both offer XXL sizes for men and women.
The largest women’s pants available at Abercrombie are a size 10, while H&M goes up to 16 and American Eagle goes even farther to 18. Abercrombie’s attitude towards plus-sized women derives from CEO Mike Jeffries. Robin Lewis, author of The New Rules of Retail, spoke to Business Insider about the kind of people Jeffries wants advertising his brand.
“He doesn’t want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people,” Lewis said. “He doesn’t want his core customers to see people who aren’t as hot as them wearing his clothing. People who wear his clothing should feel like they’re one of the ‘cool kids.’”
Lewis said that the only reason Abercrombie offers XL and XXL in men’s sizes is to appeal to large athletes.
In a 2006 interview with Salon, Jeffries confirmed that the communication between hot people is his primary marketing tactic.
“It’s almost everything. That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that.”
Jeffries also told Salon that he wasn’t bothered by excluding fat people. In fact, he said that not limiting his ideal demographic would make his clothing less desirable.
“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he told the site. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either,” he told Salon.
One might wonder why Mike Jeffries only wants to be in the company of good-looking people. That curiosity will end after seeing what this freak looks like.
After seeing a picture of Mike Jeffries, it can only be concluded that he was never around good-looking people as a kid and is now making up for the glamorous youth he wishes he had.
Is Mike Jeffries the worst CEO in the world? Here are the 13 most ridiculous things that Abercrombie’s CEO has ever said.
Mike Jeffries, the controversial CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, has done it again. Recently, he has been chastised by the media for his comments pertaining to the type of people he wants wearing his clothes.
Talk about being bold and building a brand image, Mike said he only wants good-looking people to wear his clothes and that there is no room for fat people in his company. It looks like he’s on the fast track to losing customers.
This is not the first time Mike’s mouth has gotten him in trouble. Here are the 13 most ridiculous things Mike Jeffries has said over the years:
On being popular:
“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids.”
On good-looking people:
“That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people.
“A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong.”
On being exclusive:
“Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla.”
On alienating people:
“You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either”
On the demographic he prefers:
“Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong”
On whom the company is interested in marketing to:
“Abercrombie is only interested in people with washboard stomachs who look like they’re about to jump on a surfboard”
On crossing the line:
“Listen, do we go too far sometimes? Absolutely. But we push the envelope, and we try to be funny, and we try to stay authentic and relevant to our target customer.”
On little girls’ underwear:
“People said we were cynical, that we were sexualizing little girls. But you know what? I still think those are cute underwear for little girls. And I think anybody who gets on a bandwagon about thongs for little girls is crazy. Just crazy! There’s so much craziness about sex in this country. It’s nuts! I can see getting upset about letting your girl hang out with a bunch of old pervs, but why would you let your girl hang out with a bunch of old pervs?”
On his customers:
“I don’t want our core customers to see people who aren’t as hot as them wearing our clothing.”
On people outside of his customer base:
“I really don’t care what anyone other than our target customer thinks.”
On Abercrombie’s ambiguous sexuality:
“I think that what we represent sexually is healthy. It’s playful. It’s not dark. It’s not degrading! And it’s not gay, and it’s not straight, and it’s not black, and it’s not white. It’s not about any labels. That would be cynical, and we’re not cynical! It’s all depicting this wonderful camaraderie, friendship, and playfulness that exist in this generation and, candidly, does not exist in the older generation.”
On his personal style:
“Dude, I’m not an old fart who wears his jeans up at hi